The address was part of a conference held by CAL-CAV (Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam), an organization working to bring the war in Vietnam to an end. King spoke strongly against the U.S.'s role in the war, arguing that the U.S. was in Vietnam "to occupy it as an American colony" and calling the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today. AFP/AFP/Getty Images Rhetorical Devices In Beyond Vietnam Speech. In honor of MLK Day this year, I wanted to take a moment to highlight some paragraphs from Martin Luther King Jr's speech titled "Beyond Vietnam - A Time to Break Silence" delivered on April 4, 1967. Through his use of imagery, diction, and parallel structure, Martin Luther King Jr associates the war in Vietnam with injustice in his famous speech, "Beyond Vietnam - A Time to Break Silence. He guarded his language in public to avoid being linked to communism by his enemies, but in private he sometimes spoke of his support for democratic socialism. Mr. SMILEY: Yeah. So Martin's advisors basically said, if you are intent on giving the speech, at least allow us to craft a speech and to create a setting that will allow you to speak to clergy members and laity so at least before you get to this rally that we know is going to be controversial, we could at least roll this thing out with a different kind of a crowd. President Obama, this is one campaign promise that he has kept. So when the president suggests - and whether directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally diminishes in that Nobel speech Martin's powerful, nonviolent philosophy, it tweaked some people, and you'll see that in the presentation Wednesday night. Because he received a letter from a little white girl who said, Dr. King, I read the newspaper that had you sneezed that blade would've moved, ruptured your aorta and you would've drowned in your own blood. And there was a 18-year-old black Marine that picked me up since I couldn't walk, got me away from bombs and saved my life. Mr. TAVIS SMILEY (Host, "The Tavis Smiley Show"): Neal, always an honor to be on with you. So, that's all I had to say. He did say he was going to increase troop levels in Afghanistan, so he's kept that promise. And at that march, he knew there would be people, as you point out in the film, waving Vietnamese flags and chanting... CONAN: ...Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, NLF is going to win, and that sort of thing and it would clearly be taken in a very different context. You can also join the conversation at our Web site. This is Howard, which you know me. That speech, entitled Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break The Silence, was an unequivocal denunciation of America’s involvement in that Southeast Asian conflict. I have not urged a mechanical fusion of the civil rights and peace movements. Accuracy and availability may vary. That's what set so many of them off. And it was on that occasion that he - when he saw those pictures, said, I have to speak out about this. Others, including James Bevel, King's partner and strategist in the Civil Rights Movement, called it King's most important speech. And thank you for sharing what had to be a difficult story to tell. King, Martin Luther Jr. "Beyond Vietnam." You're listening to TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. That's the problem with it. 16, 1967 in New York. And when you see the piece on "Lens" tonight that's the part of the speech that set off so many of those who are in King's inner circle, so many scholars who have written about King. CONAN: Tavis Smiley, author, journalist, political commentator, host of his talk show on PBS, joins us today from the Sheryl Flowers Studios in Los Angeles. King contemplated but ultimately decided against the proposal on the grounds that he felt uneasy with politics and considered himself better suited for his morally unambiguous role as an activist.[26]. "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence", also referred as the Riverside Church speech,[1] is an anti–Vietnam War and pro–social justice speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before he was assassinated. [13] We have created a browser extension. King delivering his speech, later dubbed "Beyond Vietnam," at Riverside Church on Manhattan's Upper West Side, April 4, 1967 © John C. Goodwin That night, in front of more than 2,100 people, King laid out a five-step plan culminating in the withdrawal of all American troops from Vietnam. (That is exactly one year before he was assassinated.) At the time, civil rights leaders publicly condemned him for it. Not only that, but then-President Lyndon Johnson disinvited King to the White House. Let's go to Walt(ph). After he gives it, 168 major newspapers the next day denounce him. Tomorrow, the latest installment with the political junkie. Appreciate it. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. 736 Words3 Pages. Many misconceptions held by the status quo are raised during this interview, yet despite Dr. King's answers, those misconceptions have persisted. In its 2004 report on Human Rights Practices, the U.S. State Department characterized Vietnam's human rights record as "poor" and cited the continuation of "serious abuses." Mr. SMILEY: Neal, thank you for the opportunity. Howard's calling us from South Bend. Nevertheless, I am in a different position as the president of the United States. Life magazine called the speech "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi",[9] and The Washington Post declared that King had "diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people. P. 418-425. Mr. SMILEY: And therein lies the rub. That's at npr.org, click on TALK OF THE NATION. I want to thank you, as I know listeners do as well, for your service to this country. "[25] King condemned America's "alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America", and said that the U.S. should support "the shirtless and barefoot people" in the Third World rather than suppressing their attempts at revolution. King had read Marx while at Morehouse, but while he rejected "traditional capitalism", he also rejected communism because of its "materialistic interpretation of history" that denied religion, its "ethical relativism", and its "political totalitarianism. Relevance to U.S. Wars and Militarism Today. 2nd ed. And his argument, basically, was that I cannot, as a practitioner and a true believer in nonviolence, espouse that nonviolent philosophy in our movement and then somehow sit idly by when I see violence being engaged around the world. CONAN: Indeed. And thirdly, I think the main point here in this MLK "Beyond Vietnam" speech is that there is another way. But the entire speech, of course, thankfully, was recorded on audio. And that's just the Times and the Post. Had the president stopped by giving Martin King his just respect - as he did, to his credit - it would have been okay. He gave a famous speech about the fact that he - when stabbed in New York at a book signing, the blade was just a scintilla away from his aorta. Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea! [11], King's opposition cost him significant support among white allies, including President Johnson, Billy Graham,[12] union leaders and powerful publishers. So King understood violence. The major speech at Riverside Church in New York, New York, followed several interviews and several other public speeches in which Dr. King came out against the war in Vietnam and the policies that created the war. And that is precisely what concerned Dr. King so much, that these young boys were being sent halfway around the world to fight a war that was unwinnable, that resources were being used there that should've been used here at home. In April 1967 American civil rights leader Martin Luther King delivered his best known anti-war speech, dubbed ‘Beyond Vietnam’: “I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. He was stabbed at one time. A combative interview, important, for its proceeding Dr. King's Beyond Vietnam Speech. Sermons and speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. "Vincent Harding dies at 82; historian wrote controversial King speech", "Vincent Harding, author of Martin Luther King Jr.'s antiwar speech, dies", "The Rev. That speech, entitled Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break The Silence, was an unequivocal denunciation of America’s involvement in that Southeast Asian conflict. Hundreds of folks listened outside on loudspeakers. This speech was enormously controversial. And secondly, so many civil rights leaders were opposed to him giving it because LBJ had been the best president to black people on civil rights. And he starts out in the opening line at Riverside Church by saying: I am here tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. As we all know, Neal, before he died, Robert McNamara, the Defense secretary that had Walt and others over in Vietnam, before he died, of course, announced that he was wrong. But LBJ disinvites him to the White House. I'm Neal Conan. This is TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News in Washington. Dr. Benjamin Spock (2nd-L), Martin Luther King, Jr. (C), Father Frederick Reed and Cleveland Robinson lead a huge pacifist rally protesting U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war, Mar. Smiley spoke with both scholars and friends of King, including Cornel West, Vincent Harding and Susannah Heschel. He turned that into a great speech when he got out of the hospital. It was a tactical mistake. And so I think most Americans, Neal, know the "I Have A Dream" speech. And Walt's with us from Cortez in Colorado. That's what I feel. CONAN: We're talking with Tavis Smiley about his PBS special, "Tavis Smiley Reports MLK: A Call to Conscience." I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like. King Jr. delivered a speech called “Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence”, at a meeting of concerned clergy at Riverside Church in New York City, New York. Indeed, you play parts of President Obama's speech to the Nobel Committee there in Stockholm where he received the award. King Jr delivered his “ Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence ” in 1967 in NewYork City. According to the report, the government has imposed restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association. So practically everybody in his inner circle was against him giving it - one, because they knew the kind of pushback he was going to get. Not everyone who supported equality was opposed to the Vietnam War. Let us not Join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the united States to relinquish its participation in the united Nations. Excerpts from this speech are used in the songs "Together" and "Spirit" by Nordic Giants. Those pictures turned Dr. King's stomach. GradesFixer. "[23] One of his great advisers and great admirers, Stanley Levison, who was always with Dr. King in his corner, was against Martin giving this speech. Because, to your point now, one, I want people to go online and read the speech so you can see the text for yourself. No, Howard, I thank you for your phone call. And I think most Americans know the "I Have A Dream" speech. But when he turns the corner and then says, essentially, that Martin's philosophy wouldn't work in today's world, he goes on to say that Dr. King didn't know al-Qaida, as if to suggest that Martin didn't understand evil, that Martin didn't understand violence, that he himself had not been subjected to it. But I'm hoping that people will get a chance, once they see the speech, they'll be moved to go read the speech and to make comparisons, Neal. CONAN: We (unintelligible) to see it. ” (Martin Luther King) Dry. Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, Spring Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam. And I think that if nothing else what we need to wrestle with in a contemporary sense, Neal, is the question of whether or not there is another way that King would have us consider were he allowed to do. And King was prescient on this. The problem was that practically everyone in his inner circle - not all, there was James Bevel and a couple of others - but practically everyone in his inner circle advised him strongly not to give this speech. The Uncompromising Anti-Capitalism of Martin Luther King Jr. "Why Martin Luther King Didn't Run for President", "The Story Of King's 'Beyond Vietnam' Speech", "Dragons, legos, and solitary: Ai Weiwei's transformative Alcatraz exhibition", Full transcript of the speech from Commondreams.org. That Vietnam was a mistake. So even McNamara eventually comes around to that point. The speech began conventionally. To change course, King suggested a five point outline for stopping the war, which included a call for a unilateral ceasefire. Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's "Beyond Vietnam: a Time to Break Silence" 1000 Words | 4 Pages. The march was organized by the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam and initiated by its chairman, James Bevel. And number two, at what cost? I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in … CONAN: Indeed, it was Oslo. But there was a great turnout for the speech. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: "This is not just. But anyway, where he says, I am mindful of those who spoke at this podium, this spot before me, including Martin Luther King and that I stand on his shoulders as a champion of civil rights. It was the speech he labored over the most. Check your local listings. 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